6.1 “Inch Wide, Mile Deep” — How to Create High-Quality Content

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In this video I discuss:

  • Who needs high-quality content on their websites and who doesn’t
  • The best “rule of thumb” for writing high-quality content
  • How much high-quality content you need on your site before beginning promotion

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6.1 Transcript Below

Howdy again, folks! Today, we are finally going to talk about high-quality content.

I have said over and over and over again in the sections leading up to this how essential high-quality content is for an internet marketing business, and now, we are finally going to talk about how to do that and it all begins with “Inch Wide, Mile Deep” – and I promise that is more than the world’s worst pick-up line.

How do you create high-quality content?

As I’ve mentioned, it is another crucial component to an internet marketing business. Technically… I want to specify this again for the people that may be watching this that are really experienced or that have followed someone else and go: “Someone else told me that this is not at all required…” and yeah, that’s technically true. You don’t need high-quality content to get ranked. Technically. If you have some very complex SEO skills and know how to game Google without getting caught – which (can’t emphasize this enough in today’s search climate) is incredibly difficult to do unless you are very well-trained and practiced.

But for the average person (if we’re keeping this as simple as possible and we’re playing by the rules) high-quality content is a must for any internet marketing business. Even if you’re not going the SEO route, high-quality content is a must if you’re going to promote your business successfully in other methods that we’ll discuss later.

This is another crucial opportunity to accumulate momentum. We’ve talked about how an internet marketing business is cumulative and your efforts over time will stack on top of each other and over time amplify your results if you keep getting kind of every tier along the way correct. And this is absolutely another one of those crucial kind of opportunities along the way that will help amplify your business’ success and how quickly you see success. And it makes everything, like I said just now, everything else about succeeding much easier if you have high-quality content and you focus on high-quality content. Ultimately, it makes succeeding in internet marketing dramatically easier.

And I also want to emphasize that this does not just have to be written content. A couple of the other most common types of content in this industry are video which we’ll talk about in the next section a little bit. I’m not going to get super in-depth. I would like to dig into it more down the road but I at least want to talk about how to create really high-quality video content that gets ranked and stuff like that on YouTube.

And then on top of that, another really common one is podcasting which there are tons of great resources online for creating podcast. So if you have an idea that might really go well in the podcasting community or is something that the market is missing right now, that is also an excellent form of high-quality content that many people build very profitable internet marketing businesses off of.

But how does someone create high-quality content, right? That’s what this freakin’ lesson’s supposed to be about. I want to take a moment to say this training is not about how to write. This is not about the English grammar and punctuation and how to compose a really well-written sentence.

I think a lot of us experienced that in our traditional education and it’s going to (A) bog down the training if I even tried, and (B) I am not an English teacher, it is not something that I am equipped to teach. Even when I hire writers in my own business, that is something that I have to have in the writer; because I can teach them everything about how to research, I can teach them everything there is to know about the topic that they’re going to be writing on, I can teach them everything about WordPress – I cannot take the time to teach people how to write.

So if you are going to build a business that is built on written content (and that’s kind of the path you’re trying to take to succeeding in internet marketing over video or over podcasting) and you don’t know how to write really good English… it’s something I’ve seen a handful of people overcome without working on their English, but I would strongly advise picking up some materials and learning how to write a little bit better as if you were a native speaker at least.

For those of you that go, “I’m not a very good writer,” but you know how to write in English – that’s not a big deal. Don’t worry. I think by the end of this section you’re going to feel very well-equipped to write high-quality content and you just don’t have to be an incredible writer to do well in this industry but you do have to write… I take that back… as I mentioned there have been a few exceptions that I’ve seen over the years. It’s much more helpful for you success if you know how to write as if English is your first language. Proper grammar, proper punctuation, good spelling, you know how to edit your own writing, etc.

So that’s not what this video is about. I’m not going to teach that at all in this training. I would strongly recommend that you seek help elsewhere. You know, buying books on Amazon or researching it more on YouTube and through other sources online because there’s a lot of really good information out there on it.

And if you’re trying to become a better writer and you want your writing to be more interesting, a really good book for that (even though it’s not directly applied to blogging) is Stephen King has a book on writing called ‘On Writing’. So that is a really, really good book. The audio book is excellent as well and it can really help amplify your writing.

And we’ll talk about copywriting and stuff hopefully down the road. I’d like to give that its own section and that will be helpful as well, but long story short, this is not about how to write in English. This is about how to create high-quality content if you already know how to write in English as if it were your first language.

So the key to producing high-quality content (whether it’s written or podcast or something else) is if you focus on value and adding value into your follower’s life, your website visitor’s life, your podcast subscribers’ lives… if you focus on value, you will do great. You will write very high-quality content. And that’s just… the key is trying to help them. (I’m so like… I’m so screwed up today for some reason… like my wires are crossed or something. I apologize.)

Another perfect example is this training. I know a lot from this industry over the years and by focusing above all else on giving you this information in a really easy to understand, easy to digest format and kind of focusing my efforts there, this quality is through the roof. I hope. For all I know, you’re hating it. But hopefully, if you’ve gotten this deep, you’re enjoying it a little bit and learning a lot.

If you focus on value… so I’m just trying to give you everything I’ve got and really, really trying to just build the value and I know if I do that, everything else will follow. And the same will be true in your business no matter what niche you go into. If you focus on value above all else, you will do very, very well in this industry.

And just like anything else, practice makes perfect. I can’t even remember what it was like when I was writing when I first started in this industry over 10 years ago. Fortunately, I had a grandma that was an English teacher for 32 years and as far as writing English, creating written word, I was always pretty decent with that. I always had kind of a knack for that.

But I guarantee, when I first started writing blog posts, it was nothing like it is now. And I could knock them out really quickly now. I think the posts that I wrote for this section that I’m going to share in a later video, I probably knocked out in about two hours and there was definitely a time where that would have taken me a full day. So just know, you will make progress every single time you sit down and you write something else. You will make progress, you will get better, and practice makes perfect.

I just mentioned this: it will get faster and easier every time as well.

And don’t try to write about everything about a given topic in a single post. That is a mistake that a lot of people try to make. So you take this broad topic and then you try to write about everything there is for that broad topic. And what you end up doing is creating such a watered-down piece of content because you tried to talk about so much that it hurts the value of the content overall. Once you’re finished with the article, it’s not as high quality as it would have been if you were just focused on a tiny segment within that very broad topic. So it’s better to kind of flesh out everything about a very specific question or pain point than try and discuss everything there is about that particular topic.

Coming back to laser tattoo removal, I don’t want to try and write an article about everything there is to know about laser tattoo removal, at least not in the beginning. I don’t want to write an article about how much it hurts and how much it costs and the technology and all of these different things. I don’t want to write about all of those in one big post.

I want to write about all of those individually and then once that’s done, I might create something that’s commonly referred to in the industry as ‘cornerstone content’ where I talk about everything kind of in smaller chunks and link out to the articles that breakdown and go really in-depth for each one of those individual topics.

So it’s not always the case that you’re going to get very specific… and I’ll talk about this I think it’s towards the end of this slide actually… it’s not always that you’re going to get super, super specific; but the vast majority of the time, that’s going to produce the highest quality content – and that’s where “Inch Wide, Mile Deep” comes in.

It’s kind of a visualization. A lot of people have a tendency when they sit down to write, they want to do the opposite of this. They want to go “Mile Wide, Inch Deep” and that is not typically how high-quality content on the web is created. If you pay more attention as you’re researching topics in your own life, you will find that a lot of the content that you find very, very helpful follows this strategy that kind of follows this mantra “Inch Wide, Mile Deep”.

It talks a lot about one very specific topic and carries you through everything there is to know and maybe even more information than originally you were seeking on that topic. But it’s very, very helpful for the kind of place you are in and the problems you’re facing to be researching that topic in the first place.

So if you pay attention (I think you’ll see this across the web), every authority website does this very consistently even if you seek case studies that write 5,000 words about one very specific thing that their business did very well. So “Inch Wide, Mile Deep” should become a mantra in your business and should kind of be built into your defaults for everything you do in this industry and that will help you a lot in creating really high-quality content.

As I mentioned, this isn’t true 100% of the time, but more often than not, it’s an incredibly good rule of thumb. Sometimes you will have cornerstone content that covers a much larger area that targets like a really competitive keyword or something like that. And you link out to each one of your kind of islands that you’ve written about – really, really high-quality content about one very specific topic. Again, “Inch Wide, Mile Deep”. So you may do those pieces of cornerstone content every once in a while. But most of the time in your business, you’ll probably want to focus on “Inch Wide, Mile Deep”.

So I also want to emphasize that this alone will make your business successful. There are other ways to build a successful internet marketing business (and we’ll talk about those in Section 7), but this is a very, very effective and valid approach to succeeding in internet marketing. If you do this along with the other things that I’ve kind of discussed, it’s going to get you to success in this industry – if you stick with it. It’s just a matter of time.

Every site needs a foundation of at least seven to ten pieces of high-quality content before promoting. You could probably get away with four or five, but the idea here is you have your core pages which we discussed when we were setting up our website. So you have your core pages and you probably want at least four to five. I would even (like I said) stretch it to seven to ten pieces of really high-quality content before you start promoting your website, because otherwise, it’s just going to dilute you promotional efforts.

If you send this website to people and you have one or two or three high-quality articles on it, it doesn’t matter how high-quality they are, it’s going to look like a brand new website and it’s not going to be demonstrative of the level of authority you’re trying to build within your niche. And that’s going to hurt your promotional efforts to the point that maybe you jumped the gun a little bit, and next time they see an email when your site actually does have a sufficient amount of quality content to be impressive, they say, “Oh, I already heard from this guy,” and they don’t even click the link, they don’t even check out your website.

So I would say your focus – after you get launched, your website’s going, you’ve got your keywords, etc. – should be producing seven to ten really high-quality pieces of content before you step into promotion which is Section 7.

And you know, I’ve talked about a lot here… I’ll talk about even more specifics and methods and kind of how-to step-by-step that I go through in my own business… and in time, you’re going to settle into your own style and your own rhythm and that’s going to be the most efficient thing for you. But I will share my process throughout this section and that should be at least a good starting point for you going forward in your own business so that you can begin to settle into your own style.

So what I share here in Section 6 is my exact formula for successful SEO-based websites. And this is what I train my personal writers to do when I hire someone onto my team. This is what I do when I write high-quality content myself these days. And I can’t even imagine how long it took me to settle into this, but the processes that I share here are the same processes that I used to train people in my own business so that I can build profitable websites.

So I hope you enjoy it. I hope you find it helpful. And this kind of is a high-level overview and kind of the introduction to this topic, but we’re going to get dig in deep to the specific strategies in these coming videos. So I hope you found this video helpful.

As always, if you have questions, feel free to post them in the members-only Facebook group and I will see you there and I’ll see you in the next video.


3 thoughts on “6.1 “Inch Wide, Mile Deep” — How to Create High-Quality Content

  1. It all begins with “Inch Wide, Mile Deep” – and I promise that is more than the world’s worst pick-up line. LMAO

  2. Hi Ian – your analogy of “inch wide, mile deep” alone for me is a breakthrough and not something I’ve come across on other IM training courses/material I’ve come across. Like you, I started when I was 16, hit a bit of a hiatus around age 20 after only making a few hundred dollars (total) and in the last few months since turning 29 have started to re-ignite my interests. Long story short, I just want to say thank you for sharing that as it’s a definite eye-opener for me and I look forward to completing this training in the coming days.

    All the best!

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